A long term game plan …

First off, this isn’t going to happen for a couple of years – at least!  Second, this is the first time I have not written a completely new setting for years, recently I have been running games in Golorian and amending the setting to suit myself.

However, some of you will be aware that I love long design projects (some of which last for years) and this is another one of those.  I have been playing around with this concept for quite a while now, and all sorts of things are starting to crystallize …

Game Overview

The game will be loosely based on colonization of the ‘New World’ and the Caribbean Pirate/Buccaneer/Freebooter setting that arose from that.  However, that spans a couple of hundred years, or so, and I will be choosing elements from across that period that suit my needs.  It will not be historically accurate, but should have a ‘flavour’ of those settings.

  • The PCs will come from the Hann Empire – a broad amalgam of my previous game settings, with a European feel to it.  The local setting will be a well defended island town, supported by a couple of coastal settlements.
  • The main ‘Competition’  will be Zakar – an amalgam of free cities with a North African/Zacharan/Lankhamar feel.  They will also have a well defended island town (maybe two or three) supported by a couple of coastal settlements.
  • The ‘Home Team’ will be a Hobgoblin ‘Empire’ that dominates the new land.  They have significant resources (both inland and on the coast) and will provide the main opposition to  both Hann and Zakar.  There will be a Drow ‘city’ below ground, and there will (possibly) be other ‘civilizations’ further inland.
  • The main friend and ally will be a Dwarf mine-hold, with metals and gems to export, however, it will trade with other people as well.
  • Minor opposition – CE humanoid Tribes and Monsters – Orc Pirates, Goblin Raiders, Gnolls, Trolls, Giants, Evil Humanoids, Monsters, Dragons etc.
  • The Neutrals, who can be converted to allies’, consist of neutral tribes of humanoids – EG Neanderthals, Lizardfolk, Ratfolk, Catfolk, Gillmen – etc.

Objectives

  • The ‘Corporate Objective’ – is to expand the influence of the Hann Empire and produce wealth for the nobles and organizations that have sponsored the expedition.  Note that these are not the same patrons that the PCs will choose from later –  these are top-level businesses and nobles who take a cut of taxes and dividends.
  • Patrons Objectives – As players create their PCs, they must nominate a Patron who funds and enables their trip to the New World.  The Patron expects to get some return from the PC (in cash / loot) which they will use to enhance their estate and reputation. Send enough money home (over the course of the game)  and you might find a new building on campus named after you, or a chapel dedicated in your name –  or even a village built with the proceeds of your adventures and named after you.  The better the PC performs (and the more they send back) the more status the Patron gets’.   In some cases, the PC can spend resources locally (ie build a chapel to their deity and appoint a priest) to meet their Patron Objectives –  although they will have to give up any income that might come from the chapel, as that will go to support the priest that their patron sends.
  • Players will always have their own personal goals, however they are expected to honour their patron and corporate objectives.  Their part is to ‘liberate’ ill-gained wealth from the Zakar and Hobgoblin empire in the name of Hann, and to settle more land – also in the name of the Hann Empire.  Taxes, levies and other such expenses (which are used to develop state holdings etc) are collected automatically within the Campaign Rules.  However, PCs will want to send back ‘gifts’ to their patrons, at various points in the game.

Rules

  • Probably Pathfinder (1st ed)
  • A variant of the Kingdom Building rules my campaign system, although with a much slower development rate than in The Stolen Lands game.
  • Mass combat, based on my ‘Celtic Style’ combat rules – but using PF’s Troop system rather than Defence Points.
  • Naval Combat, based on the ‘Skull & Shackles’ rules.
  • Conversion rates between  BP’s (from the Campaign Rules), Plunder (Skull & Shackles) and Cash (GP)
  • Some sort of Reputation System – although I have failed to make these work in the past.

Characters

  • Players submit character ideas and L1 characters.  This must include a Patron, who has some significance.  It might be a minor noble family, a trade house, a senior military officer, church, powerful caster, a trade guild, a thieves guild or something similar.  Note:  This patron, and their resources, will only have a minor effect on the game, as the playing area will be a long way from home.  However, it will set the broad tone/expectations for the character. Note:  DM needs to provide some example settings, although players can write their own.
  • Characters advance to L2 – in a negotiated setting.  No play, but skills and abilities gained need to reflect the setting. 
  • On the journey to the New World, there will be a couple of minor adventures that allow the characters to develop to L3 – just before they arrive in The New World, ready to start adventuring and building their fame and fortune.
Posted in World Building.

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